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February 2015

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Dennis Reynolds
Dr. Dennis Reynolds Named Next Dean of Hilton College
The search is over! University of Houston Provost Paula Myrick Short has announced her selection for Hilton College’s seventh dean, Dr. Dennis Reynolds. Reynolds is currently the Ivar Haglund Endowed Professor of Hospitality Management and director of the Wine Business Management Program at the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management. A prolific researcher and sought-after speaker on global service-management issues, Reynolds said the College’s reputation as one of the world’s top hospitality programs and its distinguished faculty are what attracted him to the job, and he hopes to build upon those foundations as dean. “My primary goal as dean will be to extend the global reach and reputation of Hilton College. I hope to see us enhance our graduate education programs while maximizing the undergraduate experience, including innovative educational platforms that will help prepare our graduates to be successful leaders in the global hospitality industry,” Reynolds said. Reynolds brings a valuable blend of real-world experience and academic acumen to the position. A former J. Thomas Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, Reynolds is also a two-time graduate of that program, earning both his doctorate and Master of Professional Studies there. He received a B.S. in hotel, restaurant and institutional management from Golden Gate University. His industry experience includes time as an operations analyst for Food & Beverage Investigations, a regional operations manager at SODEXO USA and vice president and general manager of North American operations for Nutrition Management Services. “We are thrilled to have an internationally-respected industry and educational innovator in Dr. Reynolds to lead the Hilton College,” Short said. “I also want to thank the search committee—co-chaired by Dr. William Monroe, dean of The Honors College, and Dr. Ki-Joon Back, Hilton College’s director of Graduate Programs—for their service in this important search.” Reynolds is expected to begin his duties here on July 1. Please join us in welcoming him to the Hilton College family! (Photo: Robert Hubner, Washington State University)
 
Global Hospitality Master's Degree
Exciting New Degree Takes Grad School Global
It’s official: Hilton College is teaming up with the top hospitality programs in Europe and Asia—Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) and the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)— to offer a first-of-its-kind Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business. A truly global program, this exclusive degree will provide students with an extensive understanding of world markets and firsthand experience of local cultures across three continents. Designed in close collaboration with top players in the hospitality industry, the global master’s program offers unparalleled professional immersion, thanks to a unique and personalized capstone project, professional certifications and business field trips to tourism hubs like New York, Paris and Macau. The first classes are set to begin in September 2015, with students spending a semester each at EHL, PolyU and the University of Houston. “The hospitality sector has tremendous growth perspective for years to come, and our graduates will have a unique advantage in tomorrow’s job market because of this challenging and innovative degree,” Hilton College Dean John Bowen said. “It will be the experience of a lifetime.” Applications are due April 1. For more information, click here or contact Laura Gonzalez, Hilton College’s director of international programs, at lgonzalez6@uh.edu.
 
Kristen Kirkwood
Major Honors for Master’s Student at Grad Conference
Graduate student Kristen Kirkwood is on top of her game! Last month, she became the first Hilton College student to ever win the Best Paper Award at the Graduate Education & Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality & Tourism, beating out papers written by graduate and Ph.D. students from all over the world. The annual conference, now in its 20th year, was held at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Kirkwood’s paper, titled “Healthier Hotel Rooms: Training Procedures for Guestroom Sanitation,” was co-authored with Dr. Barbara Almanza of Purdue University, Dr. Sheryl Kline of the University of Delaware, and Hilton College’s resident food-safety experts Dr. Sujata Sirsat and Dr. Jay Neal. Kirkwood, who splits time here at the College as a research assistant for Dr. Neal and graduate assistant for Dean John Bowen, is set to graduate with her MS in Hospitality Management in May. After that, she’d like to train hotel managers on ways to deal with environmental safety issues like natural disasters and terrorism, continue her research through a Ph.D. program and ultimately teach at the collegiate level. Big plans for an outstanding student … Way to go, Kristen! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
 
SSB Scholarship
Scholarships Awarded to 6 Club-Management Students
This semester, six standout students who are working toward careers in private-club management were awarded the prestigious Southwell, Steger, Brecunier Scholarship. Pictured left to right, at a special scholarship luncheon in the Fred Parks Boardroom, are recipients Rory Frith, Denise Alonso and Lydia Liou; Bayou Club General Manager Jonathan Shear, CCM, CCE (’80); recipients Blake Myers, Holly Criscuolo and Hayley Landry; and Iris Steger, widow of the late W. Red Steger, CCM. The Southwell, Steger, Brecunier Scholarship is named for Robert G. Southwell, CCM; Red Steger and Joan Brecunier, CCM, all club-management education leaders who taught courses at the College, provided jobs for students and served as mentors for young club managers throughout their distinguished careers. In 2007, alumni in club-management positions across the country created the scholarship endowment to honor their mentors and attract and support top students pursuing careers in the private-club industry. The Southwell, Steger, Brecunier Scholarship Endowment is the second largest privately funded endowment at the College, second only to those created by the Hilton Foundation. Congratulations to these recipients, and thanks to all of the alumni and industry friends who support our club-management program through this important scholarship endowment! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
 
Dawson and Abbott
A New Class of UH Cougar Leaders
Two of Hilton College’s own—Interim Associate Dean of Academics Mary Dawson (left) and Dr. JéAnna Abbott (right)—were among 28 emerging UH leaders who graduated from the first annual Cougar Chairs Leadership Academy on January 20. The academy was established by UH Provost Paula Myrick Short last year to cultivate talent and develop leadership skills among current program chairs and future departmental leaders across the University. Participants, nominated by their deans, attended an initial three-day seminar, followed by eight day-long seminars throughout the year before the graduation function in January. At the seminars, participants were able to build relationships with colleagues from other parts of the University that will help them in their future leadership endeavors. Hilton College will be represented in the 2015 Cougar Chairs Leadership Academy by Dr. Jay Neal and Dr. Ki-Joon Back. Kudos to all! You make the College proud! (Photos: Taylor Wiley)